Going to the beach? Take these along…
Black tea gel
Tea is indeed one of the best natural protections from the sun. The black tea is not to be left out but instead of being ingested, it is best used in the form of a gel. A study has revealed that volunteers with black tea gel on their skin were not affected by the radiation after being exposed to an artificial source of UV light while the skin of the others had started to redden.
Oils are not just good for cooking; they can ward off damage from the sun too. When applied to the skin, red raspberry seed oil provides the best protection from the sun of between SPF 28 to SPF 50. The oil works wonders because it is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin A and vitamin E, so much that some claim that it works as well as titanium oxide in protecting you from the sun.
If you can’t find red raspberry seed oil at the stores, don’t fret as good ol’ vegetable oil from the kitchen has sunscreen effects too. Sesame oil works great as well by reducing the effects of the sun by 30% while peanut, coconut and olive oils will eliminate 20% of the sun’s rays. Don’t underestimate the abilities of macadamia oil (SPF 6), hemp seed oil (SPF 6), shea butter (SPF 4), sesame seed oil (SPF 4), coconut oil (SPF 2) and jojoba oil (SPF 2) too. The protection isn’t as good as commercially produced ones but they’re good enough if you have a big hat on or will only be in the sun for a few minutes.
“I still need my sunscreen…”
Sunscreen isn’t all that bad if you know how to choose one. If you simply must purchase sunscreen off the shelf, here’s what you can opt for:
Zinc oxide sunscreens
Wait, isn’t zinc oxide mentioned earlier as one of the things to avoid in sunscreens? Yes, only if it comes in the form of nanoparticles. Zinc oxide is the only ingredient in sunscreens recognised by the FDA for having protection against both UVA and UVB rays. As such, our bodies will benefit from it as long as they are not absorbed through the skin and metabolised by the body.
Larger zinc oxide particles
Certain brands pride themselves in using larger non-nano sized zinc oxide particles. This way, you’d reap the benefits of zinc oxide while staying safe with the larger molecules that are unable to penetrate your skin. You might not be able to find a mention of the particle size on the product label but you can always look them up or check with the manufacturer before making a purchase. Also, if they had indeed used non-nano sized particles, they would have “announced” it for all to know.
Pop into an organic healthstore and get your sunscreen from there. This is the safest bet for a sunscreen that is free from all ingredients that are detrimental to your health. You wouldn’t need to wonder anymore about the form of the ingredients used or the size of its particles.
There you have it – your complete guide to protecting yourself from the sun the natural way. As a last tip shelled out, avoid sunscreens that contain bergamot or any other citrus essential oils. While you might think that citrus fruits are laden with vitamin C and all sorts of goodness, application of bergamot and other citrus essential oils on the skin increase the skin’s sensitivity to light and thus, actually worsen the effects of sun exposure. So, check what you put on your skin for you don’t want to end up scorched instead of being protected.